Platte County came back from a rough tournament last week with consecutive Suburban Conference Blue Division wins and then a promising performance at the Northland Tournament on Saturday.
Molly McBratney, the junior No. 1 for Platte County, placed third in A singles in the eight-team bracket Saturday, avenging a loss to Kearney’s Anya Dunn in the medal match. The result could be big for the seeding of the Class 3 District 4 Tournament in a few weeks.
Additionally, Platte County junior Paige Chase placed third in B singles, while the B Doubles team of juniors Rayna Garcia and Aleah Dixon were fourth. The A doubles team of junior Emma Murray and Sophie Curtis rounded out the day with a seventh-place finish.
The three individuals in the third-place match were enough to put Platte County third in the final team standings.
“It was a strange week because we played two weaker teams and then had the very competitive Northland tournament on Saturday,” Platte County coach Zach Keith said. “It gave us a chance to practice and work on some of our weaknesses as we prepare for a really difficult final week and the individual district tournament.” In terms of individual performances, Molly McBratney’s 3rd place finish in A singles was really impressive because she avenged an earlier season loss to A. Dunn from Kearney in the medal match. That could have really important seeding implications headed into the individual district tournament.
Platte County’s back-to-back shutouts earlier in the week were over Ruskin on Tuesday and Winnetonka on Thursday. The easy 9-0 wins came after Platte County went 0-3 in the Liberty Invitational last Friday. The Pirates won just four matches in the three duals.
“My honest assessment at this point in the season is that we let our inexperience show on occasion, and then we look really competitive on occasion,” Platte County coach Zach Keith said. “If we learn to compete every day like we compete on occasion, we can finish this year really strong and use that momentum to propel us into next season.”
Keith said Platte County played well despite a 9-0 loss to powerhouse Liberty before starting slow with three doubles losses in a dual with Helias. The Pirates got singles wins from juniors Molly McBratney, Sophie Curtis, Maria Molinari and Rayna Garcia but lost 5-4, unable to complete the comeback.
Platte County closed the day with a 9-0 loss to Park Hill.
In past seasons, Platte County had teams like Liberty and Park Hill in the same district or sectional, but the addition of a new class changes the postseason outlook. The Pirates will be in Class 3 District 16 this season but will still likely be the No. 4 seed having already lost to William Chrisman and Kearney and with undefeated St. Pius X in the field.
“I’m excited we finally get to compete against schools our size at the district level,” Keith said. “Our team has struggled against some of our district competition this year, but we could win the district if we play well.”